Civilization: Beyond Earth takes the series into the future

Firaxis revealed a brand new game in the Civilization series at PAX East today. Dubbed "Beyond Earth," the latest entry in the franchise takes the series into the future. In Beyond Earth, players will explore and colonize an alien world. As always, player choice is crucial to the gameplay, as individual decisions will have serious repercussions on how society develops. For example, even the initial crew you choose for the expedition to the new world will have a dramatic impact on the cultural identity that eventually develops--will you have more mercenaries or scientists, for example? What will that ship be equipped with?

The future still involves hexagons

"The Civ team was excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future, because it allows the team to break free of historical context," Firaxis creative director Sid Meier said in the announcement. "We've always let our fans create the history of mankind, and Civilization: Beyond Earth will now let them create the future." Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Beyond Earth is the potential to create new technology. While the tools you have at your disposal at first will be similar to what's available today, as time goes by, they will become more fantastic. Speaking to Shacknews during a pre-PAX conference, Firaxis did confirm that all the tech will be more rooted in "hard sci-fi," and should be plausible extensions of modern technology. For example, one key gameplay feature is the orbital layer. Players will build satellites that can provide military, economic, and scientific benefits from space. New technology will also help deal with the threats of an alien world. Players will have to tame new forms of life, all while uncovering ancient alien relics and hostile lifeforms. A new quest system will guide players through the game, which will help in the collection of resources, upgrading units, and more. There is an end-game, where players will have to make a decision on the future of the human race. What does the species do when confronted with new technology? We don't want to say any more, as to avoid spoilers. Civilization: Beyond Earth will take advantage of DirectX 11 and AMD technologies, including Mantle, CrossFire, and Eyefinity. It's also coming to Mac and Linux via Aspyr Media. The game will be available this fall for $50.

Beyond Earth is coming this fall